Monday, June 4, 2018

Finance: "Optimism about Future Prospects" for Geothermal Energy Industry

Renewable Energy - Transformation is picking up speed in the power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport (REN21)

Renewable power accounted for 70% of net additions to global power generating capacity in 2017, the largest increase in renewable power capacity in modern history, according to REN21’s Renewables 2018 Global Status Report (GSR). But the heating, cooling and transport sectors – which together account for about four-fifths of global final energy demand – continue to lag far behind the power sector.

The geothermal industry in 2017 remained constrained by various sector-specific challenges, such as long project lead-times and high resource risk, but technology innovation continued and prompted optimism about future prospects. The industry focused on advancing technologies to reduce development risk and to cost-effectively tap geothermal resources for heat and power in more locations, as well as to reduce the potential environmental consequences of geothermal energy production.

Among the various renewable energy technologies, geothermal energy is not unique in having to contend with high upfront project costs. However, the inherent high risk of geothermal exploration and project development, and the lack of adequate risk mitigation, continues to be a focus of attention for the
industry. The uncertainty about the geothermal resource in any given location often stands in the way of mobilising enough capital, especially private capital, to fund the expensive exploratory drilling that must occur at the outset to establish the size, temperature and other parameters that define the viability
of a resource.

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